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Stoltenberg: NATO looks forward to North Macedonia's membership.

NATO Secretary General with the North Atlantic Council visits North Macedonia BRUSSEL, June 3 (KUNA) -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Monday praised North Macedonia's journey towards European and transatlantic integration during a visit to Skopje. "NATO membership will bring greater security and prosperity for all the people of North Macedonia" he told a joint press conference with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev. Stoltenberg highlighted that foreign investment in North Macedonia has increased over threefold in the last year, saying "security is the foundation of prosperity". He praised the courage and determination shown by both Skopje and Athens to resolve the country's name issue last year in June. On his part, Zaev said "we put the country back on the right track " by building strong institutions in the country including the security and intelligence agencies. "We are ready for a new beginning," he said and noted that the ratification process for North Macedonia's membership by national parliament of NATO membership is moving fast and hoped that by the upcoming NATO summit in London in December the ratification process would be completed and North Macedonia will be officially welcomed as NATO member. Stoltenberg said he looked forward to welcoming North Macedonia as the 30th member of the Alliance and urged the country to continue reforms, including on rule of law, security and intelligence, and in the defence sector. The NATO chief arrived in capital Skopje on Sunday with the North Atlantic Council, NATO's decision making body, which includes the ambassadors of all 29 NATO members. This is the first ever visit to North Macedonia by the Council, which held a joint meeting with members of the government to discuss progress in accession preparations, reforms, as well as the situation in the region, he noted. (end) nk.rk

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Publication:Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
Geographic Code:4EXMA
Date:Jun 3, 2019
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